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Vigils held across Canada, world for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

Vigils were held across Canada and the world for the victims of a shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that left 49 dead.

In Toronto, a crowd gathered at Nathan Phillips Square for a vigil, which was organized by Torontomuslims.com, Muslim Youth Fellowship, Faith in the City and Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR).

“The events in Christchurch New Zealand have deeply shocked our communities here in Toronto,” organizers said in a news release. “No one should ever feel threatened while being [in] a place of prayer, and as a community our hearts, our thoughts are with those in New Zealand.”

Mayor John Tory called the shooting “hate-fuelled violence.”

“I am deeply saddened by the terror attack in New Zealand and stand with our Muslim community to condemn this hate-fuelled violence,” he said on Twitter. “On behalf of all Torontonians, we send condolences to the families and friends of those killed in Christchurch and those injured in this heinous attack.”

A candle is lit during a vigil in Toronto held for the victims of the New Zealand terror attack on Friday March 15, 2019.

A woman carries a candle at a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Candles are lit during a vigil in Toronto held for the victims of the New Zealand terror attack on Friday March 15, 2019.

People attend a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

People attend a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Ostankino TV tower is seen with lights turned off in memory of the victims of New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque attack, in Moscow, Russia March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

A man carries a “United Against Islamophobia” sign during a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Muslims pray during a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019.

People attend a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

People carry a “United Against Islamophobia” sign during a vigil for victims of the mosque shootings in New Zealand, outside city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

The CN Tower and the Toronto sign at City Hall were dimmed to mourn the victims. Paris as well darkened its Eiffel Tower in honour of the victims.

A composite photo shows the Eiffel Tower with light on (L) before and lights off (R) to pay tribute and commemorate the victims of the New Zealand terror attack, in Paris, France, evening of 15 March 2019.

Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has proclaimed himself a white nationalist, has been charged with murder in relation to the shooting and appeared in court Saturday morning in Christchurch.

Two other armed suspects were taken into custody as police try to determine what role, if any, they played in the attack.

Muslims in Canada were reminded of the shooting on a Quebec City mosque in 2017 that left six people dead.

“It’s just terrifying and so utterly horrifying that this could happen in a place of worship,” Al Masjid Al Jamia, the Haroon Khan with Vancouver’s oldest mosque, said. “We experienced this in the Quebec shooting where six people passed.

“Many of those emotions came flooding back from that horrible event. Really, our hearts are with the people of New Zealand.”

In Montreal, a mosque in the Saint-Laurent neighbourhood held a vigil Friday afternoon.

“We have to continue to be an open and inclusive society and [open] up our hearts to everybody who lives here,” attendee Emmanuella Lambropoulos said.

Funerals were planned for some of the victims in New Zealand on Saturday local time. Dozens of people laid flowers at cordons near both mosque locations in Christchurch.

Hundreds gathered to attend a vigil in Sydney, Australia, and people laid flowers at the New Zealand War Memorial on Hyde Park Corner in London, U.K. Gatherings also occurred at Washington State Park in New York City and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

 

Flowers and signs are seen at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks, near a police line outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

People place flowers at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks, near a police line outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A boy places flowers at a memorial as a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks, near a police line outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

People take part in a vigil at the New Zealand War Memorial on Hyde Park Corner in London, Friday, March 15, 2019.

People gather at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, at Washington Square Park in Manhattan, in New York City, New York, U.S. March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

Nayab Khan, 22, cries at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Makela

People gather at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Makela

People gather at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Makela

-With files from Reuters, Jessica Patton and Simon Little

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